Jacobs entered Friday's game at Cary-Grove with the intention of slowing down fullback Kyle Norberg, but it took only 2 carries to put that notion to rest.
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound senior burned the Golden Eagles for touchdown runs of 63 and 75 yards on his first two touches to lead Cary-Grove past Jacobs 45-14 in a FVC Valley tilt at Al Bohrer Field.
"That's never happened to me before, so it was definitely a good feeling," Norberg said of his early scoring bursts.
Norberg finished with 13 carries for season highs of 275 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. He was the sharp tip of a very long spear. The Trojans rushed 53 times for 526 yards, which included a 105-yard rushing performance from quarterback Quinn Baker and a 30-yard scoring run by senior Zach Marszal. Marszal's touchdown on a reverse staked the Trojans to a 21-0 lead with 5:54 left in the second quarter.
"Norberg broke it wide open right at the start of the game," Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. "That kills you. We've got some things we've got to work on, but he's a great player. A great player."
Norberg's performance was precisely what Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg expected when he added his third-year linebacker to the offense over the summer, yet the second-year coach was nonetheless impressed.
"That's why he's a Division-I quality athlete," Seaburg said. "Not only the initial burst but the finish. That's a big kid running 50 or 60 yards or however long those were. Those were big runs. That's pretty rare."
Baker threw for 84 yards, highlighted by a 41-yard touchdown pass to Marszal as Cary-Grove's option offense racked up 612 total yards.
Jacobs (3-2, 1-1) gained 382 total yards, but the Cary-Grove defense snuffed out two drives with interceptions by Matt Sutherland and Marcus Thimios. The C-G defense turned in its most impressive sequence of the contest just before halftime.
Trailing 28-7 with 46 seconds remaining, Jacobs drove 62 yards in 5 plays to the Cary-Grove 4-yard line. Any momentum the Golden Eagles stood to gain from a late touchdown was negated by tremendous work from the Cary-Grove secondary.
On 1st-and-goal, Thimios nearly intercepted a pass from Jacobs quarterback Brett Mooney. Ryan Dundon ripped the ball out of receiver Hunter Williams' hands on second down. After an incomplete swing pass, Mooney rolled to his left and threw across his body, intended for Connor Conzelman, but the pass was thrown slightly behind the receiver and broken up by two closing Trojans.
"It's a shame we couldn't get that one in right before the half to make it 28-14," Mitz said. "After that things just steamrolled. They've got a good team."
Mooney completed 18 of 38 attempts for 253 yards but did not throw a touchdown for the first time in five varsity starts.
"We knew Mooney had a good arm so he was going to try to throw deep on us," said Sutherland, a 5-7, 144-pound junior. "We just tried to get behind our coverages, get under, because they run a lot of slant routes and curl routes. We just jumped them and tried to get picks."
Jacobs rushed for 129 yards, but 91 came on its final drive of the fourth quarter with multiple reserves playing on both sides. The only successful, first-half drive the Golden Eagles mounted was an 8-play, 70-yard march fueled by Greg Sidor's 4 receptions for 45 yards.
Steven Varela's 14-yard touchdown run sliced the deficit to 21-7 with 4:05 left in the second quarter. He led Jacobs with 65 yards on 10 carries.
However, the Trojans restored their 21-point lead on a 46-yard keeper by Baker.
It was the third time in five outings Cary-Grove scored at least 45 points. Playing without injured two-year starter Mike Gomez, the offensive line of center Greer Bozeman, guards Gunnar Halverson and Nick Nibungco, tackles Kyle Matthiesen and Trevor Ruhland and tight end Alex Hoscheit created what Norberg called "surprisingly big holes."
"We never had any doubt," Matthiesen said. "We didn't change our game plan at all with the substitution. Our quarterback Quinn Baker is a really easy guy to play hard for. When all our running backs do good we feel we've done good."